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Classroom Resources: Mysteries of the Nile
Guiding Steps and Questions
Back to How Would You Do It?

Use this guide to help you design your experiment.
Printable version of this page
  1. Select or Create a Question

    • Evaluate whether the question can be tested through scientific investigation.
    • What constraints must you consider (such as availability of time and space, limitations of equipment, cost, safety issues)?
    • Make sure your question can be answered through scientific investigation.
    • What do you predict will be the answer to your question and why?


  2. Design the Experiment

    • Identify the variables in the experiment.
    • What kinds of data will help you answer your question?
    • What data will you use to support your prediction?
    • How will you collect, record, and represent your data?
    • What materials will you need?
    • What steps will you take to carry out the experiment?


  3. Review the Experimental Design

    • Have another team review your experimental design. What questions do they raise about your design and how might you address them?
    • Have your teacher review and approve your experiment before proceeding.


  4. Do the Experiment

    • Record the actual steps you take to carry out the experiment.
    • Record your data.


  5. Analyze the Data

    • What patterns do you see in the data?
    • How do you interpret the data? What evidence supports your interpretation?
    • What might be inaccurate about your interpretation?
    • How else can you explain the data? List two alternative explanations.
    • How can you organize the data to present the strongest explanation for your conclusion?


  6. Reflect on Your Experiment

    • Identify some of the flaws in your experimental design. How would you change your experiment if you were to repeat it?
    • What new questions do you have after doing this experiment?




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